Cotabato City – Following their reorganization last June 2019, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Health Research and Development Consortium (BHRDC) held its second Management Committee meeting on September 24, 2019 at the Alu Hotel in Davao City.

Under the stewardship of its Chair, Engr. Aida M. Silongan, Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOST-BARMM), in coordination with the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council of Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), the meeting was convened to  discuss pressing issues such as mobilizing the different BHRDC Technical Working Committees (TWCs) and implementing activities that are relevant in responding to the health problems besetting the region.

Minister Silongan was ably represented during the meeting by Dr. Norma A. Dalamban, Chief of the Technical Management Division of MOST- BARMM. Also in attendance were the Chairs of the Technical Working Committees: Ms. Nurhaya Sumaluyan of Capacity Building Committee; Dr. Fema Abamo of Research Management Committee; Ms. Lilian Macadupang of Research Ethics Committee; and Dr. Michael Macion of Research Utilization Committee. BHRDC Regional Coordinator, Ms. Nadjiyah Sinarimbo, BHRDC secretariat, Ms. Rohania Ibrahim and Ms. Marinell Mabazza, and Regional Project Officer of DOST-PCHRD, Ms. Maria Belen Balbuena participated as well in the discussions. 

Dr. Macion presented his committee’s initial plans while Dr. Abamo reported that 13 proponents were able to submit capsule proposals and will attend the upcoming Basic Research Methods (BRM) training on September 29-October 2, 2019 in Zamboanga City.

At the end of the meeting, Dr. Dalamban assured the body that, as Chair of the consortium, Minister Silongan commits her full support to the consortium. The TWCs will also do their share in ensuring that all planned activities are implemented and monitored.

Written by: Ms. Rohania Ibrahim 

Edited by: Ms. Ullyann Garcia and Ms. Maria Belen Balbuena

As part of the advocacy of the consortium to promote PHREB accreditation of CLHRDC member institutions’ ethics review committees and conduct of ethically-sound researches, Basic Research Ethics Training has been conducted. It was held at Green Manor Hotel, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, and was attended by 30 participants from 16 member institutions.

The training objectives were the following:

  1. To dialogue and guide participants regarding the moral dimensions of research
  2. To help participants conduct or review ethical research
  3. To sensitize participants regarding basic research ethics concepts
  4. To help participants apply these ethical concepts: avoid, recognize, correct ethical issues
  5. To describe participants the different controls for research ethics, focusing on the Research Ethics Committees (RECs) and the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB)
  6. To motivate participants to do and advocate quality ethical research

Dr. Ricardo M. Manalastas, Jr. and Dr. Maria Salome N. Vios of PHREB were the resource speakers for the 2-day activity. Lectures on the introduction to ethics in research, scientific soundness, principles of non-maleficence, respect for person and justice were discussed on the 1st day. For the 2nd day, discussions regarding social and behavioral research, national, international and institutional controls, revising review and after the review process, and the ethical research were given. Activities such as role-playing and protocol reviews were done after each lecture.



In light of the need to promote and disseminate the results of the finished researches, the consortium through the Research Utilization Committee (RUC) joined two different activities of its stakeholders this month of September.

A research caravan was conducted by the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) on September 8, 2019, in collaboration with the Philippine Nurses Association - Ilocos Sur Chapter. The vision and mission of the R1HRDC were presented as well as the findings of the DOST - PCHRD - R1HRDC funded research projects to encourage health professionals especially the nurses to engage in quality health research to improve the quality of life.

Another celebration is the 2019 Regional Science and Technology Week (for Region 1) on September 17-20, 2019 held at Centennial Arena, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte with the theme, "Science for the People: Enabling Technologies for Sustainable Development". Spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology Regional Office 1,

the celebration was attended by their various stakeholders which showcased the significant scientific and technological breakthroughs that support inclusive socio-economic growth in the region. The exhibit area was divided into six (6) clustered groups following the sustainable development goals that featured Technology Exhibits, Technology Fora, Interactive Exhibits, and Technology Bazaar among others. Under the clustered groups on Aging Society, Health and Medical Care, the R1HRDC displayed posters of the 7 (Seven) funded and finished research papers. Most of the participants were not able to fully understand the scientific aspect of the exhibited researches, however, results were explained in simpler words they can understand and appreciate.

At the end of the activities, the participants manifested their eagerness to know more about the services that the consortium offers, especially the training on how to develop research proposals.



BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Health Research and Development Consortium (CRHRDC) spearheaded a Training of Trainers on Basic Research Methods here at the El Cielito Inn on September 23-25.

This activity engaged twenty-eight (28) participants, mostly from the academic institutions, in a comprehensive three-day distributive learning process that builds their knowledge base and skills required to effectively train educators to deliver training/s on basic research. Likewise, it also aimed to further develop a pool of succeeding trainers for the capacity building activities on health research in the region and in the participants’ respective institutions.

The training workshop utilized the standardized basic research methods module course and teaching guide developed by the Philippine Council on Health Research and Development (PCHRD) through the commissioned project of Dr. Ophelia Mendoza (UP Manila).

CRHRDC Regional Coordinator Dr. Erlinda Palaganas said that training the trainers is important as it helps them impart their respective trainings more efficiently and effectively. It actually gives them an opportunity to work on their skills and core competencies and come out with something more exciting, innovative and unique methods, eventually benefiting the end-users, whether researchers and students.

This is the first time that the consortium held such kind of training in an effort to hone the skills of research educators, which will eventually lead to the production of more researchers and researches in the region.

Another institution in Davao Region is granted by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) with Level 1 accreditation. Last September 10, 2019, the Research Ethics Committee (REC) of Compostela Valley State College (CVSC) received the good news from PHREB for their compliance to national and international ethical guidelines in reviewing research involving human participants. PHREB Level 1 accreditation is given to institutions which reviews researches with minimal risk to participants and is applicable to newly constituted RECs with less than a year of operations.

Dr. Lilybeth Matunhay, REC Chair of CVSC, expressed her gratitude on this new achievement by the institution: “We are humbled of the accomplishment; however, this would not be made possible without you and Dr. Concha extending your generous time to help us. Congratulations to all of us and thank you REMB XI and PHREB for the recognition.”

Currently, the Regional Ethics Monitoring Board XI (REMB XI) is assisting various private and public institutions in Davao Region and its neighboring regions through mentoring and orientation. REMB XI is happy to assist any institutions and/or organization from application to PHREB accreditation. Do you need assistance? Contact, the REMB XI secretariat, Ms. Diane Calipes at (082)227-1313 or through email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By MDMC



A session on Ethics in Research was conducted during the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week Celebration on August 13, 2019, at The Luxe Hotel in this city.

Attending health professionals from both private and public sectors urge academes with research studies to establish a Research Ethics Committee (REC) within their schools.

The primary mandate of the REC is to protect human subjects in every research.

Issues such as gender abuse, bias, and discomfort among human subjects in conducting researches were raised.

Also raised during the session was the prevalent sampling of high school students as human subjects in almost all researches.

“Creation of RECs is the solution for protecting high school students in the research”, Dr. Paulo Maria N. Pagkatipunan of the UP College of Medicine said.

According to Dr. Pagkatipunan’s research, only four out of 10 schools have established RECs. Thus, close coordination with CHED is needed to reach out and encourage schools to adapt the establishment of REC.

The session was attended by more than 300 participants from the National Government Agencies, Public and Private Hospitals, and the Academe.

With the session concluded, it is hoped that the academe sector will embrace the establishment of REC to make firm the protection of every human subject involved in researches.

The PNHRS Week Celebration will be conducted at the Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City on August 13-16, 2019. There are sessions that are open to all and registration is free.


Written by Julie Anne H. Baculio | DOST-X



The Cordillera Region posted improvements in the health sector in 2018, according to DOH-CAR and Regional Social Development Sector Vice-Chairperson Director Amelita Pangilinan.

During the Kapihan on the State of the Region Address 2019, held on August 13, 2019,  Director Pangilinan reported that there was a reduction in the region’s number of maternal, neonatal and under-five deaths in 2018, compared to the figures posted in the previous year. 

She elaborated by saying that maternal deaths decreased by 3.2 percent from the 43 percent posted in 2017.  The same is also true for under-five and neonatal mortality rates which decreased by 1.4 and 0.1, respectively,  from the previous year’s figures.

In terms of nutrition, a reduction in the prevalence of overweight, wasting and stunting of children 0 to 5 years old was also noted.  Further, there was an increase in the proportion of Cordillera households who had access to a sanitary toilet facility.

The DOH chief also said the region has reason to look forward to further improvements in the region’s health status with the continued and intensified implementation of the following laws and government programs:

  1. Universal Health Care Law (RA 11223) which will improve access to health care services;
  2. National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP) which is expected to accelerate the demographic transition and maximize gains from demographic dividend
  3. First 1,000 Days Program and Operation Timbang which is aimed at reducing infant mortality and improving nutrition; and
  4. Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law which guarantees universal access to methods on contraception, fertility control, sexual education, and maternal care.

The Cordillera Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 provides that the desired overall outcome of the Sector on Social Development is to ensure that the region’s economic growth strategy results in improved quality of life and total human development of all Cordillerans. The plan, which is due for its midyear updating this year,  is operationalized through the six sectoral committees of the Cordillera Regional Development Council, which, aside from the Regional Social Development Committee, includes the Committees on Development Administration, Economic Development, Infrastructure Development, Watershed and Environmental Management, and Indigenous Peoples Concerns.



Written by Ma. Emelie Daquipil

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